A reissue of Jorge Ben's Solta o Pavão, originally released in 1975. Jorge Ben is one of Brazilian music's iconic and best-loved figures. Born Jorge Duilio Lima Menezes in Rio in 1942, he took the stage name, Jorge Ben, in deference to his mother's Ethiopian roots, and later used Jorge Ben Jorge for further distinction.
Playing tambourine and singing in a church choir from an early age, Ben began playing in Carnival blocos and was performing in nightclubs as a teen. Signed to Philips in 1963, his Mas Que Nada became an instant international sensation that has never waned, despite being sung entirely in Portuguese.
Beginning in samba, Ben's openminded approach saw him embrace aspects of bossa nova, the "Jovem Guarda" rock movement of the mid-1960s and the experimental Tropicalia form, the broad palette and diverse influences yielding a number of adventurous and abstruse albums during the 1970s, of which Solta o Pavão is one of the most rated by connoisseurs, though somewhat overlooked in general; its title translates roughly to Unleash the Peacock and apparently concerns the outward expression of inner beauty.
Against a backdrop of lushly produced samba rock with shades of MPB, highlights include opener Zagueiro, in which Ben salutes football center-backs in typically playful and poetic language. Closing number Jesualda is a heady ballad of a chance encounter leading to a girl's social climbing and Para Ouvir No Radio (Luciana) a love song with striking flute and string arrangements; Dadi Flavi's bubbling bass and occasional string synths help keep the sound non-standard.